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Grandma Gatewood Memorial Trail (Buckeye Trail)



5.6 mile 9.0 kilometer point to point
96% Runnable


Ascent: 440' 134 m
Descent: -540' -165 m
High: 1,080' 329 m
Low: 732' 223 m


Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 22% (12°)


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Trail shared by Laura Priest

A series of gorge and rim trails with waterfalls and stunning rock formations, ranging from easy to challenging.

Laura Priest

Features Cave · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Need to Know

When coming up the staircase at mile 2.76 (you exit onto a road loop with a pavilion in front of you and restrooms to your right), the trail continues directly uphill just to the left of the pavilion in the center of the road loop—there is one solitary blaze post in the middle of the picnic area, but otherwise no markings until running across the top part of the loop. It is easy to lose the trail here.

Runner Notes

Loose gravel and exposed roots might provide obstacles in some areas. A few stairways and dark tunnels can be found on the trail. Slick surfaces will keep things exciting in wet conditions.


Along the Buckeye Trail at Hocking Hills Old Man's Cave State Park, choose from the easy Gorge Overlook Trail with views of the gorge, or opt for the steeper Grandma Gatewood Trail that allows you to explore the Devil's Bathtub and Upper Falls to the north and the stunning "Old Man's Cave" hermit's cave and Lower Falls to the south. The trail rises and falls steeply with the gorge terrain and comes alive with numerous waterfalls and weeping cliff faces after a good rain. The flora of the gorge, lush ferns, mosses, mushrooms and hemlocks, are remnants of an earlier time.

If you have time, from Old Man's Cave, continue southeast along the Buckeye Trail to another worthwhile destination, Cedar Falls, named for the misidentified hemlock trees which hang down over the rim. Going further south along the Buckeye Trail takes you to the massive amphitheater-shaped Ash Cave. It has a sandy floor and domed ceiling high overhead where waterfalls trickle or pour down from above. Nearby is a boulder field left behind by retreating glaciers. You can choose to run the Gorge Trail or the Rim Trail. Take care with small children as there are no railings along the edge.

These distinct destinations, along with the Rock House, Cantwell Cliffs, and Conkle's Hollow, also in the Hocking Hills area, can all be reached by car and taken individually. The steep terrain of Grandma Gatewood, Cantwell Cliffs, and the Rock House trails are a good cardio workout. The easier runs at Conkle's Hollow, Ash Cave, and Cedar Falls can accommodate most anyone.

Flora & Fauna

Wildflowers, butterflies, mushrooms, mosses, ferns, hemlocks and deciduous trees line the path.

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Land Manager: Ohio State Parks

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Sep 6, 2018
Tyler Youngman
Sep 24, 2017
Bri Har
First three awesome/easy trails—last part walk run-rocky 5.7mi

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 26 votes


  4.5 from 26 votes
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in Ohio


332 Views Last Month
6,530 Since Oct 27, 2016



Wide Lens short from in Ash Cave
Jun 3, 2018 near McArthur, OH
Old Man's Cave in Hocking Hills.
Oct 28, 2016 near Logan, OH
Ash Cave Waterfall
Jun 3, 2018 near McArthur, OH
Ash Cave with waterfall after the rain. An easy hike in the Hocking Hills along the lovely Ash Cave Gorge Trail.
Oct 28, 2016 near McArthur, OH
This trail section of the BT is dedicated to Emma Gatewood - first woman to hike the AT at all and first to hike it 3 times total (2 thrus and a section). Her first thru hike was at age 67.
Jun 3, 2018 near Logan, OH
Kharma is standing on the stump. She loved the walk, except she was not allowed in the water.
May 22, 2019 near Logan, OH


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